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Messages - Les

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1
General Stock Discussion / Learning from GameStop action
« on: January 28, 2021, 20:50 »
Just imagine that a large group of image creators teamed up like the individual investors in shares of the GameStop company against the short sellers and decided to fight the stock agencies and CEO's who sell them short. 

Quote
A behavioral economist thinks the wild trading in GameStop is the beginning of a major shift in investing power.
The people are saying, Screw Wall Street, said the University of Chicagos Alex Imas.

Trading in GameStop has reached fever-pitched levels and shows little sign of breaking. Despite the plunge in prices during Thursdays session after several brokerages put limits on buying and selling, the stock is up a head-spinning 500% in a week.

Its possible this is just the beginning of a new wave for Wall Street. 

2
.....
A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

that's only true if you're selling widgets or services, but not for commodities - pork bellies or stock images -- for the latter, when supply meets of exceeds demand, lower prices will win

The commodities argument is true only for genuinely common images - like tomatoes, ducks or girls on the phone. Unfortunately in the current scheme of SS catalog structure, many unique and exceptional images are treated and priced in the same way as the former group.

3
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

I'd agree. In fact I think the prices have been too low from the start. Now I've lost 30% of my more recent income. Also people were willing to work and create images, for 25c a download, flat rate, no levels, just 25c a download. Doesn't that seem wrong as well?

But what I pointed out that seems to be ignored, no business can survive by losing money on a majority of the big subscription package sales. They can raise the prices and lose the income from many customers, or run in the red, and lose money.

"Reasonable Prices" is a reflection of the competition and the market. For the basic economics of a business, they also need to consider, supply and demand and the cost of the products that are sold.

A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

4
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

5
I'm pretty much getting, in round numbers, 30% of what I used to on SS. I don't have a premium collection or top material for Microstock. I'm getting what I deserve. No I'm not uploading and yes I'm disappointed and find no motivation to add anything new.

Absolutely true, I can confirm those numbers. SS killed their golden goose with a lot of decent videos and images, and destroyed any motivation to shoot and upload new assets.
 
 

6
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: August 23, 2020, 20:22 »
If they terminated all of those huge accounts with stolen images, they really wouldnt have much good, sellable images left. Yes, its been going on for years. People here have been reporting it to them that long. They dont care. Just another reason not to do business with them. But people still do.

Some portfolios with good original images have been pulled out by now, and if those images were also in the stolen portfolios, obviously it is in SS interest to keep them there. What a shame!

7
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: August 22, 2020, 22:51 »
It seems that one impact from reduced uploading is that SS got slacker in policing stolen images and now they leave entire portfolios of image thieves online. That's one way to inflate the total image counts.

8
...
Check him out, maybe you are also bringing bread to someone else's table - https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Khoirillistration
This illustration
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/lion-illustration-wallpaper-background-1585086241
is a filtered version of this photo:
https://news.sky.com/story/lioness-kills-father-of-her-three-cubs-at-indianapolis-zoo-11532092

This one:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/winter-illustration-wallpaper-background-1589482882
is a filtered version of this still from a movie:
https://growthcommissionblog.org/film/405034/jilbab-traveler-love-sparks-in-korea

This one:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/tiger-illustration-wallpaper-background-1585075810
is a filtered version of
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianscott/150007690/in/photolist-eV6aj-eibKr-eod53-efQ4u-ei9fg-2MN5YD-4BzHB1-7fQMry-5v3cLg-5v7Ekj-7fQNwA-7fQN93-7fLSbB-5v3m9n-7fLWgn-7fQSvh-7fLWJv-7fLRyD-7fLVWg-7fQNQ5-7fLWY6-7fQMVb-4Bvr6c-7fQJoE-7fLLkn-sEEGa-7fLSRn-7fLNNz-7fQL6u-7fQJBu-2giNQz

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/winter-illustration-wallpaper-background-1589481829
is a filtered version of this one:
https://www.liputan6.com/global/read/3083716/australia-bersiap-hadapi-musim-dingin-terganas

Every other file I clicked on is available on the internet, though it would take more time to identify the original author.
SS didn't even try Google Reverse Image Search. They really don't care.

This post should be sent to the SS shareholders before their next conference.

BTW, since you already did all this work identifying the stolen images, you might send this also to SS Support.

9
Shouldn't be a standard practice for SS to ban thieves altogether?
If 3 images are reported as stolen, there is a good chance, he has stolen other images.

10
Fixation on the absolute number of images is the only thing SS can talk about. No doubt, the quantity will go up.
Quality is something entirely different, and that is being diminished by deactivation of successful images and by not adding new quality stuff. The library is being diluted by inferior and similar images. The shareholders can be fooled temporarily by the rising numbers, but many buyers will be turned off by the deluge of useless assets.
 

11
Shutterstock.com / Re: Timing of the royalty cut
« on: August 19, 2020, 19:48 »
A penny saved is a penny earned. - attributed to Ben Franklin

Shutterstock saved quite a few pennies. But I wouldn't called it "earned". More like stolen.

12
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: August 07, 2020, 16:48 »
When these companies are our top tier we know the game is over for good... :-X

ScanStockPhoto
YayImages
Crestock
Stockfresh
GLStock
DrawShop
Cutcaster

Sad, but true.

13
Shutterstock.com / Re: So they do use AI to review then...
« on: August 07, 2020, 03:47 »
...

Little bit mangled, but all in all, pretty good translations. Much better than what was possible 20 years ago.
Actually, some of the re-translated sentences sound better than the original ones by Trump.

one reason the translations are reasonable is he speaks like an underperforming 5th grader

Very true. To make the job more difficult for the translator, this time I used Tenebroso's post, and translated it to French and back to English.
The translator made the Tenebroso's flowery text even more convoluted.

Quote
For the SS CEO who speaks in an established script while sipping soup, if he had an AI capable of examining files suitable for sale, both Tesla and NASA would hire their developers, if they cannot leave on contract, they would buy the company.
These developers are not able to make the web work properly, at the slightest change. And every time, you notice that his team is getting lower and lower profile. They are not capable of widening to JPG format with adequate thumbnail visibility if the vectors are not loaded with a huge size. Simply very low profile.
According to a company drowning.
An AI capable of deciding on a logo, suitable or not for sale, would be the cover of all the media on the planet. And world prestige and a place in history.
The next step would be for the machines to make designs that are sold, of quality, current and that pleases humans.

Pour le PDG SS qui parle dans un script tabli tout en sirotant de la soupe, s'il avait une IA capable d'examiner les fichiers susceptibles d'tre vendus, Tesla et la NASA embaucheraient leurs dveloppeurs, s'ils ne pouvaient pas partir sous contrat, ils rachteraient l'entreprise.
Ces dveloppeurs ne sont pas en mesure de faire fonctionner correctement le Web, au moindre changement. Et chaque fois, vous remarquez que son quipe devient de plus en plus discrte. Ils ne sont pas capables de s'tendre au format JPG avec une visibilit adquate des vignettes si les vecteurs ne sont pas chargs avec une taille norme. Profil tout simplement trs bas.
Selon une entreprise en train de se noyer.
Une IA capable de dcider d'un logo, adapt ou non la vente, serait la couverture de tous les mdias de la plante. Et le prestige mondial et une place dans l'histoire.
La prochaine tape serait que les machines ralisent des designs qui sont vendus, de qualit, actuels et qui plaisent aux humains.


For the SS CEO speaking in an established script while sipping soup, if he had an AI capable of examining files that might be sold, Tesla and NASA would hire their developers, if they couldn't leave. under contract, they would buy the company.
These developers are not able to make the web work properly at the slightest change. And each time, you notice that his team becomes more and more discreet. They are not able to expand to JPG format with adequate thumbnail visibility if the vectors are not loaded with huge size. Simply very low profile.
According to a company in the process of drowning.
An AI capable of deciding on a logo, suitable or not for sale, would be the coverage of all the media on the planet. And global prestige and a place in history.
The next step would be for the machines to make designs that are marketable, quality, current, and appealing to humans.

14
Shutterstock.com / Re: So they do use AI to review then...
« on: August 06, 2020, 20:10 »
I ran two recent Trump's quotes through Google translator.
The first one from from English to German, then back to English and the second from English to Spanish and back to English.

Quote
"I actually took one test when I -- very recently, when I -- when I was -- the radical left were saying, is he all there? Is he all there? And I proved I was all there, because I got -- I aced it. I aced the test."

"Ich habe tatschlich einen Test genommen, als ich - vor kurzem, als ich - als ich - die radikale Linke sagte: Ist er alles da? Ist er alles da? Und ich habe bewiesen, dass ich alles da war, weil ich - Ich habe es geschafft. Ich habe den Test bestanden. "

"I actually took one test when I - recently, when I - when I - said the radical left: is it all there? Is it everything there? And I have proven that I was everything because I - I have I did it. I passed the test. "


Quote
When you say that we lead in [coronavirus] cases, that's because we have more testing than anybody else.
"So when we have a lot of cases, I don't look at that as a bad thing. I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better.
"So I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it's a badge of honour.
"It's a great tribute to the testing and all of the work that a lot of professionals have done."

Cuando dices que somos lderes en casos [de coronavirus], eso se debe a que tenemos ms pruebas que nadie.
"Entonces, cuando tenemos muchos casos, no lo veo como algo malo. Lo veo como, en cierto sentido, como algo bueno porque significa que nuestras pruebas son mucho mejores".
"As que lo veo como una insignia de honor. Realmente, es una insignia de honor.
"Es un gran homenaje a las pruebas y todo el trabajo que muchos profesionales han realizado".

When you say we are leaders in [coronavirus] cases, that's because we have more evidence than anyone.
"So when we have a lot of cases, I don't see it as a bad thing. I see it as, in a sense, a good thing because it means our tests are so much better."
"So I see it as a badge of honor. It really is a badge of honor.
"It is a great tribute to the tests and all the work that many professionals have done."

Little bit mangled, but all in all, pretty good translations. Much better than what was possible 20 years ago.
Actually, some of the re-translated sentences sound better than the original ones by Trump.

15
Shutterstock.com / Re: Timing of the royalty cut
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:51 »
He took the money from our pockets and placed it directly into his bank account. This is capitalism at its finest.

That's not capitalism, but a blatant and despicable robbery.

16
Shutterstock.com / Re: So they do use AI to review then...
« on: August 05, 2020, 19:22 »
Calling the SS selection algorithms AI is a bit magnanimous. There are other terms which would be more fitting.

17
Shutterstock.com / SSTK gain - 50% in June and July
« on: July 29, 2020, 18:11 »
SSTK shares rose 50% from around $35 to $52 in two months (June and July 2020) since the contributor's commissions were cut. So now you know where your money went. Much better deal for shareholders than for the photographers. Also not as much work.


18
I am living in a country with no social welfare benefits like unemployment money, food stamps or stimulus check like in America. The alternative would be begging in the streets.
I envy people who can quit SS and argue about their lost self-respect or wasted time, because they simply do not depend on the money from SS. In times of corona I do more than ever before.
I am self-reliant, I am self-employed, I am proud of me and I am getting the respect from my family and people around me. Ten US cents here might be more then 10 Dollars in rich countries. In my eyes protest against SS is as useless as anything. And I am wondering where this hate and ire comes from?
If people with provoking opinions are called TROLLs, I am one of them.

Your position might be representative of other artists from underdeveloped countries who find image uploading to SS still worthwhile. Taking that into perspective and the low quality of new images being uploaded, SS may gradually become a go-to outlet for acceptance and distribution of the art work from the third world countries. If SS gets sold and the new owner moves their offices from the Empire State building to somewhere in central Africa, that could further reduce SS expenses and improve their bottom line.

19
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock Forum Deactivation
« on: July 24, 2020, 13:16 »
Ethics and morals aside, no business would accept heavy criticism or promotion for competitors on their own platform. Either they put more effort (and thus money) in moderating the place, or shut it down. They chose the latter, without any communication or explanation, and it says a lot how they treat the hands that feed them.

As I see it, based on their behavior of the last past months, they want to demotivate and eventually get rid of amateur and hobbyist contributors as they are too much hassle.

And maybe that's where the microstock industry is heading to, the next coming years.
Smaller and community based agencies with independent contributors providing quirky content for a niche market versus big corporations fed by professional studio's producing generic content for the masses.

I agree with your first paragraph, but when it comes to de-motivation effort, it seems that they want to demotivate experienced submitters and recruit more low-volume contributors, which would lower further their commission expenses.

20
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: July 22, 2020, 19:50 »
Ive seen a couple more tweets the last couple of days of SS buyers not being able to buy an image they need, and SS contacting the contributor to re-upload it/turn it on. Yes! Its working! 👍
How much would SS pay for re-uploaded images?

Ten cents, Im sure! One person sent a message back to SS support, with a link to the other sites he offers it on. 😂 If the buyers would have contacted him directly, he of course would have sold it to them.

Actually, that happens sometimes. One photographer from my local camera club was contacted by a TV production company who wanted to use his image in ten episodes of their series. He negotiated a royalty of $250 per episode which amounted to $2500 for the whole deal. If he had submitted that image to SS, they could have bought the image with an unlimited unrestricted royalty and he would get 10 cents. Or maybe an EL. 

I think the days when the sales volume is more important than a properly managed image with specific royalty rights are over. Better to sell a good image for a decent price once a year than getting 100 downloads at 10cents.

21
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: July 21, 2020, 17:46 »
Ive seen a couple more tweets the last couple of days of SS buyers not being able to buy an image they need, and SS contacting the contributor to re-upload it/turn it on. Yes! Its working! 👍
How much would SS pay for re-uploaded images?

22

What other ideas should we start now?

Explain to people who are still uploading that they are very likely suffering from the Stockholm syndrome.

ad hominem

do you always insult the intelligence of those you disagree with?

No, I didn't mean it as an insult and I wasn't arguing with anybody. I brought up a completely new point of looking at this situation.
Ad hominem post would consist of a directed attack against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
I didn't direct to any particular person, but rather to a position that uploading new images to SS makes an economic sense.

It was meant more as an explanation when the controlling party (in this case the SS) attempts the brainwash the captives (image contributors) that by staying loyal, working harder and keep uploading their images at reduced rates they can miraculously earn meaningful living. Simple arithmetic taking into consideration the expanded effort and projected income shows that this is not the case.

23

What other ideas should we start now?

Explain to people who are still uploading that they are very likely suffering from the Stockholm syndrome.

Quote
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

With this syndrome, hostages or abuse victims may come to sympathize with their captives. This is the opposite of the fear, terror, and disdain that might be expected from the victims in these situations. Over the course of time, some victims do come to develop positive feelings toward their captors. They may even begin to feel as if they share common goals and causes. The victim may begin to develop negative feelings toward the police or authorities. They may resent anyone who may be trying to help them escape from the dangerous situation theyre in.

Many psychologists and medical professionals consider Stockholm syndrome a coping mechanism, or a way to help victims handle the trauma of a terrifying situation.

24
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock taking a nap?
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:44 »
Good Evening

So, I am hearing bad revenues regarding Shutterstock does this mean its not a good investment and if so any suggestions?

From the investment point of view, SSTK could be a good candidate for short selling.

25
Shutterstock.com / Re: We are having some impact
« on: July 15, 2020, 04:16 »
From here on its all downhill and if one accepts this deal then next year you be working for 0.2c per sale and so on! they had it all in the palm of their hand and blew it sky high!
Even if they get over this which they will their name is tarnished forever and buyers will eventually react! in the creative circle a bad name is the very worst that can happen a service and sooner or later they will bite the dust.

wishful thinking -misquoting Keynes 'sooner or later we all bite the dust'

buyers don't care and probably don't even know -  as 'everyone' keeps saying SS is making more $$

Of course, SS is making more money - by stealing from you.

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